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Creativity Productivity & Work

It’s never too late to do something incredible

Everything good takes time.

We have to get comfortable with the idea that the work worth doing almost always never comes to fruition immediately.

In fact, if you’re 100% certain about where you’re headed, perhaps you need a little more discomfort in your life. Vulnerability and doubt fuel aliveness and prevent one from getting too satisfied with results.

As the Japanese artist Hokusai said:

“Until the age of 70, nothing I drew was worthy of notice. At 110, every dot and every stroke will be as though alive.”

Hokusai
Categories
Arts Creativity Productivity & Work

Doing something is better than doing nothing

A lot of people never start because of the fear of imperfection. But when it comes to creating, something is better than nothing.

That something could be as little as a blog post — private or public — a diary entry, a podcast, a simple doodle, or if you prefer to speak through images, an Instagram post.

The habit of making and sharing your art builds confidence. Of course, there will always be others that want to put a dent in your endeavors but most people are encouraging.

Even more, two things happen when you show up to produce every day.

  1. Your craft improves.
  2. You establish an archive of work to pull from.

Once your daily practice of making art is set in the stone and you’ve kicked down the frustration barrier that prevents so many from being consistent, then you can go back and pull inspiration from your work.

“The unknown was my compass.”

Anais Nin

New ideas will bloom from the stems of your first drafts, especially the shitty ones. You’ll start making connections and flag concepts that need further elaboration or clarification.

The best thinking emerges when you give your work time to breathe. Reflection increases the sophistication of one’s knowledge and experience.

Through this journey, it’ll start to become clear what types of trade you enjoy, what you want to be known for, and where you want to spend the most time improving.

Creativity is not rocket science. But it requires diligence, impatience with action, and patience with trial and error.

The professional shows up on both the good days and the bad days to hack away at their inner genie. There are zero shortcuts to building quality and long-lasting output.

gif by youngcoconut

Categories
Creativity Life & Philosophy Poetry Productivity & Work

Open to detours

Open to detours, fixated with the wrath of curiosity. The single-minded goal-setter scrounges for practice.

In theory, doggedness is the least path of resistance. Like sheep, we’re a magnet for jumping through hoops.

But we can’t afford to put the right brain to sleep. Quiescent until unmoored from reality, the maker begs to turn pipe dreams into miracles.

The creative compulsion knows no boundaries. It explodes in those non-cash working hours when you’re raging with inspiration and where the notion of work and play intertwine.

“The physical universe is basically playful. There is no necessity for it whatsoever. It isn’t going anywhere. It doesn’t have a destination that it ought to arrive at. But it is best understood by its analogy to music. Because music as an art form is essentially playful. We say you play the piano, you don’t work the piano.”

Alan Watts

We’re programmed to be ourselves, following the siren song of our vocation. Fight our calling, and we’ll lose. There will be no such luck.

Categories
Creativity Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work Social Media

The student never graduates

Learning stops in adulthood because people think all they’ll be doing the rest of their lives is working. But the cubicle, formerly called the ‘action of office,’ is where ideas and learning go to die.

You can put your head down and work for the same company for 20 years if you want. You’ll gain title and support the family. Everything will be safe and stable.

But you’ll never use up all your vacation days. You’ll get stuck in the maelstrom of email and meetings and come out feeling no smarter than where you started. Even worse, no company offers pensions these days.

Learning is a life-long endeavor

You can attach all the meaning you want to your job, but it’ll never replace the significance of continued learning that the Internet makes so accessible.

Tools for continued learning in adulthood include podcasts, tweets, blogs, newsletters, and a place to synthesize it all — whether that be your notebook or a blog.

The best part about the web is that most of the information is free, like air, minus a few paywalls. And yes, being a paid subscriber to a few respectable publications will make you appreciate shared intelligence even more.

Reading the right stuff can give you the knowledge and motivation to do your job better.

Sustenance, or in some cases chasing the Benjamins, is no substitute for education. Throwing in the towel helps nothing but time fly, a distraction from the things that matter.

Business isn’t necessarily learning. It’s just business.

Categories
Business Creativity Life & Philosophy Psychology

Finding aim through purpose

Some people need that motivational voltage to get them going.

So they collect positive quotes on Pinterest, post inspirational tidbits on Facebook, and believe — albeit mistakenly — that the law of attraction will get them on the cover of Forbes.

The barest encouragement, even if forcibly imagined, provokes enough optimism to keep the wannabe achiever moving forward.

But an obsession with success may be the biggest handicap.

Humans crave meaning just as much as fame or a paycheck.

We create seeking systems that ensure what we chase fulfills our values.

Instead of going after what other people want, we prioritize a way of life that generates momentum toward the highest resolution.

Avoid following the flock of sheep. Don’t jump through hoops, go around them.

The only way to escape a labyrinth of conformity is not entering it in the first place.

If we can be outside and genuinely enjoy the road, stay outside.

gif by SoulPancake

Categories
Creativity Life & Philosophy Psychology

Enjoy the silence

Silence is the loudest sound — unprovoked, it can screech worse than nails on a chalkboard.

The pursuit of distraction is man’s attempt to escape the cacophony of a deaf monkey mind.

To break from mental prison, we conjure up an oasis of sound: Facebook or TV, dual-screens, infinitely scrolling through feeds and channels without remembering a thing.

The content Ferris wheel never ends. The circus rages on, burning into a dead-end of doldrums.

Perhaps the noiseless, originally our worst fear, is the pocket of sanity we needed all along.

gif by Carolina Costa